I have dogs at my home so I don't have much preditor troubles there. However I've been battling the 007 racoon at my school who has killed four chickens in a weeks time. I'm down to six hens and one skittish roo. Since this is a school we can't go hunting. He has evaded our live trap baited with eggs. I've done reinforcing chicken wire fencing, stapled the top netting to the only tree in the run and fixed the netting over the door so he can't get in there. There is nothing more I can do. We have been talking about getting a guard dog. I've researched livestock guarding dogs to find they are all large breeds. We are thinking about trying it. Has anyone had any luck with a herding dog. I'm looking for a dog that will be awesome with young kids, and can handle cold weather. I live in Northern Indiana. 25 miles from Michigan. Great Pyrenees, Anatolian Shepherds, Akbash and Maremma are the breeds that I've found to be popular in the US. Does anyone have any luck with other breeds? At what age has anyone tried to raise the dog? Has anyone tried rescueing a kennal dog to protect the flock?